Permanent magnet motor (PMM) technology was evaluated and implemented in the different artificial lift systems in Llanos Norte (LLN) and La Cira Infantas (LCI) fields aiming to find a more efficient motor that aligns with SierraCol Energy's mission as an independent operator in Colombia to generate energy consumption savings and contributing to reduce the carbon footprint.
During the last decade, awareness has been raised about environmental issues and the need to combat the effects of climate change. Efforts led by different agreements between nations have gained strength based on the 1992 Earth Summit and the 2015 Agreement of Paris, which establishes measures for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimize the impact of the carbon footprint in different industries strongly associated with the exploitation of fossil resources and its impact. More efficient technologies within the oil and gas sector are important since the increase in energy costs worldwide has been impacting the operating costs of mature oil and gas fields, and reservoir depletion, high water cuts, and equipment maintenance are increasing energy demands. The process of identifying new, more efficient technologies was initiated, and PMMs were selected and implemented, achieving a significant reduction in energy consumption (15% - 25%) in artificial lift systems at SierraCol Energy fields.
In 2016, a trial test in LLN field began with the installation of PMM in two wells with ESP systems, with an average energy saving of 15%, based on ESP results. The trial test began in 2019 with two wells with PCP systems in LCI, obtaining 35% energy savings. These favorable energy savings resulted in a large-scale implementation in the initial completions in 2021. The last trial test for the SRP system began in 2020/2021 with the installation of five wells in LCI with an average energy saving of 18%. PMM met the expectations and objectives set for their evaluation; a 15% reduction in energy consumption has been achieved for the main artificial lift systems (ESP, SRP and PCP) with PMM technology compared to conventional systems. Savings in energy translates into a reduction of 24,500 tons CO2eq in five years; therefore, implementation of PMM technology is considered an energy efficient alternative and potential agent of change in reducing the carbon footprint.
This paper shares technical details of the evaluation of new technologies and tests carried out in the field to validate the implementation of PMM technology in the artificial lift systems, the calculation of reduction of tons of CO2eq, and the main challenges in its application as an energy efficient solution for future projects.